BzzAgent's Dave Balter Offers Word-of-Mouth Advice

Magdalena Georgieva
Magdalena Georgieva

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"Ever since Hotmail appeared on the scene and showed that one consumer can influence many, many others, brands have been chasing the kind of viral explosion that catapulted the Numa Numa dance to web glory," wrote Dave Balter in his new book The Word of Mouth Manual Vol. II . Dave is the founder of BzzAgent.com , a company providing word-of-mouth services for hundreds of major brands.

A recent guest of HubSpot TV , Dave offered insights into the pure word-of-mouth aspect of marketing. If you have questions about the new face of content promotion, advertising and blogging, read through Dave's thoughts on these subjects:

Offer Free Quality Content

ColdPlay did it. Dave Balter did it. You, too, should consider offering free, high-quality content. This is a way to demonstrate that you really care about your audience and create a positive buzz around your brand.



After Dave published The Word of Mouth Manual Vol. II, he listed it on Amazon for $45 and also offered it as a free PDF file online. "To release it we gave it away to 20 influential bloggers -- Seth Godin , Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan -- and they were allowed to give it out for free," Dave said. As a result, he got 150 000 downloads and reached a wider audience.

Join the New-media Mix

In order for media planners to keep up with the evolving advertising industry, they, as Dave writes , "need to immerse themselves in new-media mix models." Brands should open up to taking risks in social media marketing programs and new measurement tools .



"I feel the whole infrastructure of advertising agency-new media vendor-client is just busted," said Dave. In order to work well together, all three actors have to adapt to the changing industry and to one another. Agencies, for instance, might consider restructuring their pricing models on a performance basis.

Blog with Authenticity

"Authenticity -- you got to have it, people," said Dave about blogging . A firm believer in the power of blogging, he emphasized the importance of being transparent. Yet for many companies the question of how to use blogging for authenticity remains unanswered.


It is essential for blogging to have open writers who reveal what they really think. If your company blog requires a board approval or other types of permissions, then you are not meeting your goal for maximum transparency.

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